For such a small country, Slovakia can boast a high number of rising stars in the mobility sector. One of the them is AgeVolt.
“We have a lot of skilled suppliers for the automotive industry who know how to help with ideas at the beginning. We have everything we need in a small area,” says Ján Zuštiak, AgeVolt’s CEO and Founder.
Instead of building EV charging stations and new charge points, AgeVolt is making charging more convenient by enabling chargers to be installed using existing electrical connections. These private chargers can be shared with other EV owners and drivers.
Auto Futures has been talking to Zuštiak about the company’s technology ecosystem and its commercial roll-out plans.
“Our customers had a problem fitting their charging stations to their parking lots. They were looking for a solution where the initial investment would not be so expensive and chargers difficult to build, they would not have to pay a monthly increased price for reserved capacity due to chargers, they would not have to be connected to any ‘backend’ but they would be able to use charging stations and free capacity of the building for their own needs, for the needs of its tenants, clients, and the public,” explains Zuštiak.
AgeVolt provides a charging solution for every parking lot owner with an existing power supply.
“When these owners want to provide charging for themselves and for others with the smart energy management system, reservations, and prioritizations under their brand without increasing the monthly fee for reserved capacity or for cloud licenses.” he says.
Zuštiak explains how AgeVolt’s solution works.
“Our solution has a local central unit to do all necessary functions without internet or provider needed. The central unit reads data from various energy meters each 0,5sec and divides the available power to charging stations based on prioritization of each charging station or car/user and uses a 100% of energy connection in each time.”
“The central unit has also a database for local users, price lists and it can send statistics of the usage of charging to the owner each month and the owner can send the invoice to users himself. But owners can connect this central unit to our digital platform and their choice schedules, prices, or max weekly consumption for free charging and show some or all charging stations to the public via our app. In the future, our digital platform enables owners to create campaigns for digital marketing and join charging with loyalty management.” he adds.
“We want to change charging from the primary business of few charging point operators for the standard option for each parking place for owners. We want to create an option to build a charging connector for each parking place.”
Zuštiak compares AgeVolt’s peer-to-peer ecosystem to Airbnb.
“This peer-to-peer way is beneficial for each parking lot owner with publicly available parking places. From households, parking by the apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, office buildings, retail shops, municipalities and state-owned services as a post, police stations and each other with existing energy supply, parking place, own EV and willingness to share the parking space with the public for earn some money, help neighbours and electromobility as a whole or only as a service for customers, employees, residents, or tourists,” he says.
“It’s very beneficial for EV owners too because this is only one way how to create really a lot of charging points and set long-term sustainable energy prices with a lot of loyalty benefits.”
Funding and Commercial Plans
AgeVolt currently has around 100 charging points sold to its customers, which range from family homes, through restaurants, cities, and retail stores. But Zuštiak has ambitions to grow the business.
In June, 2021, the company announced it had raised investment from a consortium that includes the Slovakian EV battery maker, InoBat.
“After the first round of investment, we want to complete the digital platform this year and prepare everything for international sales starting next year. We want to focus mainly on customers willing to build a charging station in most of their parking spaces to help us show the advantages of this type of building EV infrastructure,” says Zuštiak.
Marian Bocek, CEO and Co-Founder of InoBat, states: “We are happy to support AgeVolt with the development of their unique smart EV charges and intelligent energy management system and therefore, contributing to the overall rise in EV adoption in CEE region as well as the rest of EU.”
“We would like to use it for developing a digital platform, switch payments to the blockchain, create open-label loyalty tokens in our blockchain and expand into new markets and partnerships,” adds Zuštiak.
A Glimpse of the Future
Finally, we asked Zuštiak for his thoughts on what urban mobility and EV charging will look like in Europe by the end of the decade.
“We believe that charging will cease to be a business for CPOs and become a service that every parking lot owner can provide for themselves and the public. Charging stations are also in the hands of mayors of towns and villages to provide EV charging for their residents.
“During the night, when the parking lots in front of retail stores and companies are unused, they could be filled with EV cars charging and parking there overnight. This way can solve the problem with a lack of parking spaces.”
“E-mobility is a chance to take advantage of sharing parking spaces, chargers, free electricity but also automotive as a whole,” concludes Zuštiak.